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Address to the International Working Men's Association Congress by Emma Goldman Life imposes strange situations on all of us. For forty-eight years I was considered an extremist in our ranks. One who refused to compromise our ideas or tactics for any purpose whatsoever--one who always insisted that the Anarchist aim and methods must harmonize, or the aim would never be achieved. Yet here I am trying to explain the action of our Spanish comrades to the European opponents, and the criticism of the latter to the comrades of the CNT-FAI. In other words, after a lifetime of an extreme left position I find myself in the center, as it were. I have seen from the moment of my first arrival in Spain in September 1936 that our comrades in Spain are pl... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The history of human civilization is not a straight, continuously forward-moving line. Its diagram is a zigzag, now advancing, now retreating. Progress is measured by the distance separating man from his primitive conditions of ignorance and barbarism. At the present time mankind seems to be on the retreat. A wave of reaction is sweeping the countries of Europe; its effects and influence are felt all over the world. There is fascism in Italy, Hitlerism in Germany, despotism in Russia, destructive dictatorship in other countries. Every progressive and radical party, every revolutionary movement has suffered from the present reaction. In some countries they had been entirely crushed; in others their activities are paralyzed for the time being... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


From the upcoming "No Gods, No Masters" edited by Daniel Guerin, to be published by AK Press the summer of 1997 Anarchists Behind Bars (Summer 1921) by Gaston Leval Once I discovered that there were so many of our comrades in prison, I arranged, together with the French syndicalist delegates to make overtures to Dzerzhinsky, the People's Commissar for the Interior, implicitly obedient to Lenin. Being wary of me, my fellow delegates chose Joaquin Maurin to speak on behalf of the CNT delegation. Maurin reported back on their first audience. At the sight of the list of the prisoners whose release was being sought, Dzerzhinsky blanched, then went red with fury, arguing that these men were counterrevolutionaries in cahoots with the White general... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

(1901 - 1936) ~ Anarcho-Syndicalist and CNT Militia During the Spanish Civil War : Francisco Ascaso Abadia was part of "Los Solidarios" with Durruti, Gregorio Jover, Juan García Oliver, Antonio Ortiz, Ricardo Sanz, etc. They fought against the "Pistoleros" (hired by cleric employers to assassinate trade unionists). (From : Anarchopedia.)
• "Let no-one doubt that we will not achieve our aims until we create the revolution." (From : "Anarchosyndicalism, Libertarian Communism and the....)
• "Anyone who believes that in depositing a piece of paper in a box he has fulfilled his duty to society is indulging in a crass error." (From : "Anarchosyndicalism, Libertarian Communism and the....)
• "The electoral struggle is no more than a simple process whose sole and exclusive aim is the maintenance of a bourgeois regime." (From : "Anarchosyndicalism, Libertarian Communism and the....)


From: G.P. Maximoff, Syndicalists in the Russian Revolution The Author GREGORI PETROVICH MAXIMOFF was born on November 10, 1893, in the Russian village of Mitushino, province of Smolensk. After studying for the priesthood, he realized this was not his vocation and went to St. Petersburg, where he graduated as an agronomist at the Agricultural Academy in 1915. He joined the revolutionary movement, while a student, was an active propagandist and, after the 1917 revolution, joined the Red Army. When the Bolsheviks used the Army for police work and for disarming the workers, he refused to obey orders and was sentenced to death. The solidarity of the steelworkers' union saved his life. He edited the Anarcho-Syndicalist papers Golos Trouda (Voice... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

(1928 - ) ~ Popluar Modern American Anarchist Author, Linguist, Scientist, and Historian : Though his stance on these issues is that of an admitted anarchist/libertarian, Noam Chomsky prefers to act as an analyst and critic of the state rather than a social theorist.... Chomsky continues to teach at MIT, where he holds an endowed chair in linguistics. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "There are many factors driving global society towards a low-wage, low-growth, high-profit future, with increasing polarization and social disintegration. Another consequence is the fading of meaningful democratic processes as decision making is vested in private institutions and the quasi-governmental structures that are coalescing around them, what the Financial Times calls a "de facto world government" that operates in secret and without accountability." (From : "Profit Over People", by Noam Chomsky, page 127, c....)
• "Systems of unaccountable power do offer some choices to citizens. They can petition the king or the CEO, or join the ruling party. They can try to rent themselves to GE, or buy its products. They can struggle for rights within tyrannies, state and private, and in solidarity with others, can seek to limit or dismantle illegitimate power, pursuing traditional ideals, including those that animated the U.S. labor movement from its early origins: that those who work in the mills should own and run them." (From : "Profit Over People", by Noam Chomsky, page 132, c....)
• "The decisions reached by the directors of GE affect the general society substiantially, but citizens play no role in them, as a matter of principle." (From : "Profit Over People", by Noam Chomsky, page 132, c....)

(1902 - 1990) ~ Russian Emigre and American Anarchist Activist : He rode the rails for the Wobblies, sometimes as a gandy dancer (or maintenance man), or else hopping boxcars, and he always looked for the chance to stand in front of a crowd and, in that broken cello of a voice. (From : IWW.org.)
• "Society without order (as the word "society" implies) is inconceivable. But the organization of order is not the exclusive monopoly of the State. For, if the State authority is the sole guarantee of order, who will watch the watchmen?" (From : "The Relevance of Anarchy to Modern Society," by S....)
• "The very fact that autonomy, decentralization and federalism are more practical alternatives to centralism and statism already presupposes that these vast organizational networks now performing the functions of society are prepared to replace the old bankrupt hyper-centralized administrations." (From : "The Relevance of Anarchy to Modern Society," by S....)
• "The increasing complexity of society is making anarchism MORE and NOT LESS relevant to modern life. It is precisely this complexity and diversity, above all their overriding concern for freedom and human values that led the anarchist thinkers to base their ideas on the principles of diffusion of power, self-management and federalism." (From : "The Relevance of Anarchy to Modern Society," by S....)

(1896 - 1936) ~ Heart of the Anarchist Soldiers and Anarcho-Syndicalism During the Spanish Civil War : On the 15 Durruti arrived with a force of 1800 men to reinforce the defense of Madrid, where they went immediately to the toughest section and on the 19 he was struck by a bullet as he walked by a supposedly secure area. (From : Communiello Bio.)
• "The emancipation of the working class requires the complete destruction of capitalism and we can't stop our revolutionary efforts until that happens." (From : "Durruti," by Abel Paz, part 1, chapter 1.)
• "We have the right and obligation to force the negative to clash with the positive and cause the spark. Is that adventurism? Then I say that all revolutions have been triggered by adventurists." (From : "Durruti," by Abel Paz, part 1, chapter 10.)
• "You have to lead the struggle yourselves, without bosses or leaders." (From : "Durruti," by Abel Paz, part 1, chapter 11.)


This manuscript was provided to Anarchy Archives by the author. The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism by Murray Bookchin One of the most persistent of human frailties is the tendency of individuals and groups to fall back, in times of a terribly fragmented reality, onto obsolete, even archaic ideologies for a sense of continuity and security. Today we find this not only on the right, where people are evoking the ghosts of Nazism and deadly forms of an embattled nationalism, but also on the "left" (whatever that word may mean anymore), where many people evoke ghosts of their own, be they the Neolithic goddess cults that many feminist and ecological sects celebrate or the generally anti-civilizational ambiance that exists among young middle-class ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

INTRODUCTION "A person is strong only when he stands upon his own truth, when he speaks and acts with his deepest convictions. Then, whatever the situation he may be in, he always knows what he must say and do. He may fall, but he cannot bring shame upon himself or his cause. If we seek the liberation of the people by means of a lie, we will surely grow confused, go astray, and loose sight of our objective, and if we have any influence at all on the people we will lead them astray as well -- in other words, we will be acting in the spirit of reaction and to its benefit." (Michael Bakunin -- Statism and Anarchy, 1873) Two tactics of Communism (Marxist and Anarchist) have existed ever since Marx and Bakunin clashed in the First International of the 1860s, over the question of the State. Both agreed that the goal of Communism should be a classless society which had no need of the state; their differences were only on how to reach it. The Bakuninists...

(1895 - 1978) ~ CNT Radical, Anarcho-Syndicalist, and Spanish Civil War Historian : He was a French anarchist during the Spanish Civil War and was the son of a French Communard. Leval, himself was a French anarcho-syndicalist militant and a participant in the foundation congress of the Red International of Labor Unions from June-August 1921. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "The methodical police terror, the [Bolshevik] Party's tightening grip upon the whole of social life, the systematic annihilation of all non-Bolshevik currents, the no less systematic extermination of all revolutionaries who thought along lines different from those of the new masters, and indeed the eradication of every hint of dissent within the Party all proved that we were on the road to a new despotism that was not merely political but also intellectual, mental and moral, reminiscent of the darkest days of the Middle Ages." (From : "Anarchists Behind Bars," by Gaston Leval, Summer,....)
• "...the means of production remained unused in the barns of the rich, whilst the poor peasants worked the land with roman plows drawn by worn out donkeys and mules!" (From : "Collectives in Spain," by Gaston Leval, 1945.)
• "...the Spanish Libertarian workers co-ordinate and rationalize production in a much more satisfactory way than Capitalism had done. And I lay special stress on the disappearance of small unhealthy and costly workshops and factories, besides the correct use of machinery for the work most suited to it." (From : "Collectives in Spain," by Gaston Leval, 1945.)

(1839 - 1893) ~ Anarchist Writer for the Black International : His career as a participant in the labor movement grew out of his reflections on the Pittsburgh riots during the 1877 railroad strike, but before Haymarket had swung over to the extreme left position of the anarchists and mutualists, impressed with the possibilities of cooperation in economics. (From : James Martin Bio.)
• "The renaissance of mind from scholastic tyranny; the revolt of Luther and his followers against mental dictation; the temporary compromise in religious toleration; the insurrection against kingcraft leading in its triumph to the toleration of political opinions; -- have now logically led to an insurrection against economic subjection to the privileges usurped and hotly defended by capital in its alliance with labor..." (From : "The Economics of Anarchy: A Study Of The Industri....)
• "Let us beware the militant assumption that man exists for the State, and trust to theoretical brakes to check the momentum of a body moving with increasing velocity. The social aggregate is not something over and above the units which constitute it." (From : "The Economics of Anarchy: A Study Of The Industri....)
• "Force, however used, can teach no economic truth, yet events flowing from it often awaken consciousness of what equity demands." (From : "The Economics of Anarchy: A Study Of The Industri....)

(1893 - 1950) ~ Ukrainian Anarcho-Syndicalist Involved with the Bolshevik-Aligned Nabat : Secretary of Russia's Anarcho-Syndicalist Confederation and editor of Golos Truda (The Voice of Labor). He experienced at first hand the Bolshevik repression which crushed other revolutionaries and subordinated popular revolt to party dictatorship. (From : AK Press Bio.)
• "Innumerable warehouses are filled with unsold wares, while other goods are destroyed so as to prevent a slump in market prices. Production comes to a standstill, unemployment increases, the destitution and political oppression of the people reach an unprecedented intensity, and bourgeois democracy turns into open dictatorship..." (From : "My Social Credo," by Grigori Petrovitch Maximov.)
• "In the past, capitalism would have saved itself from deadly crisis by seizing colonial markets and those of agrarian nations. Nowadays, most of the colonies are themselves competing in the world market with the metropolitan countries, while the agrarian lands are proceeding in the direction of intensive industrialization." (From : "My Social Credo," by Grigori Petrovitch Maximov.)
• "I believe that only a stateless form of society is compatible with human progress, and that only under such a form of commonwealth will humanity be able to attain full liberty, and therefore I am an anarchist." (From : "My Social Credo," by Grigori Petrovitch Maximov.)

(1905 - 1994) ~ Anarchist Leader of the FAI during the Spanish Civil War : Montseny served as one of the FAI's prominent activists and in November of 1936, she became the first woman in Spanish history to serve as the Minister of Health. One of her most controversial accomplishments in this position was the legalization of abortion... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "We need no messiah and no sterile conception of a god menacing us with hell and purgatory. Love, as the basis of life will bind us together." (From : "Militant Anarchism and the Reality in Spain," by ....)
• "...triumph over fascism alone is worth the sacrifice of our lives." (From : "Militant Anarchism and the Reality in Spain," by ....)
• "That is why a fascist victory is impossible. Because it must not be forgotten that this is not only a civil war-a social war is also being waged. It is the war of the common people against the rich, against the militarists, against the politicians-all of whom were responsible for the misery and poverty of the proletariat." (From : "Militant Anarchism and the Reality in Spain," by ....)


1. Anarchism was built up and invented by the working class to meet with specific problems in working class organization and to point the way to a society free from oppression. It differed from Marxism or authoritarian socialism in that it saw that copying bourgeois forms of organization or government was a mistaken tactic; also that government could form a new tyranny. It was not generally realized at the time that there could be two forms of aspirants to tyranny - capitalists and bureaucrats could take over a new government, but prior to that the middle classes were also divided in their attitude to socialism. The middle class as defined by Marx - the profit making class ^^ had a corollary in the mandarin class aiming at power and its cla... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

(1901 - 1980) ~ FAI Labor Unionist and Anti-Fascist Militant During the Spanish Civil War : ...a native of Catalonia and member of the Catalan Regional Committee of the C.N.T. or National Labor Federation, where he was a close associate of Buenaventura Durruti. He led a group in battle against the military uprising of July 1936 in Barcelona, occupying the women's prison and releasing all its prisoners. (From : Blood of Spain Bio.)
• "We had no use for anything connected to the past, a past which had in some ways sunk already, but which would still make inexhaustible attempts to reassert itself. All revolutions carry with them a counter revolution. A Revolution is a forward murch from ac ertain point, whereas counter revolution is a return to that point, or in some cases to a point that is further back." (From : "Wrong Steps: Errors in the Spanish Revolution," b....)
• "Without this demonstration that we can build Libertarian Socialism, the future will continue to belong to the sort of politics that came out of the French Revolution -- with many political parties to begin with, and just one at the end." (From : "Wrong Steps: Errors in the Spanish Revolution," b....)
• "If these syndicates are of an anarchist orientation and their militants have been formed by an anarchist moral then, to presuppose that they'll act the same as if they were Marxist, for example, is as good as saying that anarchism and Marxism are fundamentally the same ideology, being as they produce the same fruit. I don't accept such simplifications." (From : "Wrong Steps: Errors in the Spanish Revolution," b....)


Whenever a revolution breaks out - and regardless of its character - (the most important point is that broad masses of workers and peasants should have a hand in it) and its guides, whether a compact group or a scattering of individuals, enjoying a special authority in the eyes of the workers, place themselves above these masses and do not march in step with them and do not earn their trust, waiting for something out of the ordinary to happen or even, worse still, seek to subordinate them by trying to point them along the "only" path to follow, well, the revolution fails to develop thoroughly enough and fails to resolve or even correctly formulate the attendant problems in need of resolution. Then it cannot devise new and additional methods... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)


On my first visit to Spain in September 1936, nothing surprised me so much as the amount of political freedom I found everywhere. True it did not extend to fascists; but outside of these deliberate enemies of the revolution and the emancipation of the workers in Spain, everyone of the anti-fascist front enjoyed political freedom which hardly existed in any of the so called European democracies. The one party that made the utmost use of this was the PSUC, the Stalinist party in revolutionary Spain. Their radio and loudspeakers filled the air. Their daily marches in military formation with their flags waving were flaunted in everybody’s face. They seemed to take a special pleasure in marching past the house of the Regional Committee as ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

(1873 - 1958) ~ German Father of Anarcho-Syndicalism : Rocker was born in Mainz, Germany, son of a workingman who died when the boy was five years of age. It was an uncle who introduced him to the German SociaI Democratic movement, but he was soon disappointed by the rigidities of German socialism. (From : Irving Horowitz Bio.)
• "In place of the capitalist economic order, Anarchists would have a free association of all productive forces based upon cooperative labor, which would have for its sole purpose the satisfying of the necessary requirements of every member of society." (From : "Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism," by Rudolph Ro....)
• "...economic exploitation has always gone hand in hand with political and social oppression. The exploitation of man by man and the domination of man over man are inseparable, and each is the condition of the other." (From : "Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism," by Rudolph Ro....)
• "...power always tries to keep things as they are, safely anchored to stereotypes. That has been the reason for all revolutions in history. Power operates only destructively, bent always on forcing every manifestation of social life into the straitjacket of its rules. Its intellectual expression is dead dogma, its physical form brute force." (From : "Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism," by Rudolph Ro....)


"Discussing the activities and role of the Anarchists in the Revolution, Kropotkin said: 'We Anarchists have talked much of revolutions, but few of us have been prepared for the actual work ,to be done during, the process. I have indicated some things in this relation in my Conquest of Bread. Pouget and Pataud have also sketched a line of action in their work on Syndicalism and the Cooperative Commonwealth. Kropotkin thought that the Anarchists had not given sufficient to the fundamental elements of the social revolution. The real facts in a revolutionary process do not consist so much in actual fighting--that is, merely the destructive phase necessary to clear the way for constructive effort. The basic factor in a revolution is the organiz... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Chapter 2. Anarchist Position on the October Revolution On the same day, the Union for Anarcho-Syndicalist Propaganda published a statement in Golos Truda in which it indicated clearly its position on the question of political power. It summed up the situation in two compact paragraphs: “1. Inasmuch as we give the slogan ‘All power to the Soviets’, an entirely different meaning from that which, in our opinion, is given by the Social Democratic Bolshevik Party, ‘called upon by events to lead the movement’; inasmuch as we do not believe in the broad perspectives of a revolution which begins with a political act, that is, by the taking of power; inasmuch as we do not support any action of the masses for political goals and under the control of a political party; and finally, inasmuch as we conceive of an entirely different way, both for the beginning and the subsequent development of a real social revolution,...

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