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Freethought in America was an anti-clerical, anti-Christian movement which sought to separate the church and state in order to leave religious matters to the conscience and reasoning ability of the individual involved. Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912) was prominent both as a feminist and as a freethinker. The following article, reprinted from Benjamin Tucker's periodical Liberty, was originally delivered by de Cleyre as a lecture before the Boston Secular Society. It is an excellent example of the interrelationship between the individualist-feminist view of the church and of the state. In her essay "Sex Slavery," de Cleyre reiterated this two-pronged attack. She wrote: "Let every woman ask herself, 'Why am I the Slave of Man?' . . . There a... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
An Essay on the Approaching Revolution
I In Gospel language "the age" and "the end of the age" does not signify the end and beginning of a century, but the end of one view of life, of one faith, of one method of social intercourse between men, and the commencement of another view of life, another faith, another method of social intercourse. [...] Every revolution begins when Society has outgrown the view of life on which the existing forms of social life were founded, when the contradictions between life such as it is, and life as it should be, and might be, become so evident to the majority that they feel the impossibility of continuing existence under former conditions. The revolution begins in that nation wherein the majority of men become conscious of this contradiction. As ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The minds of men are in confusion, for the very foundations of our civilization seem to be tottering. People are losing faith in the existing institutions, and the more intelligent realize that capitalist industrialism is defeating the very purpose it is supposed to serve. The world is at a loss for a way out. Parliamentarism and democracy are on the decline. Salvation is being sought in Fascism and other forms of "strong" government. The struggle of opposing ideas now going on in the world involves social problems urgently demanding a solution. The welfare of the individual and the fate of human society depend on the right answer to those questions The crisis, unemployment, war, disarmament, international relations, etc., are among those p... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Science is making tremendous progress in this century, but instead of science being the means of benefiting the people in every respect, it is used as a medium for inflicting misery and hardship upon those who an doomed to labor like slaves for a precarious existence. The inventions of science only give greater facilities to the privileged classes for increasing their happiness at the expense of terrible sufferings among that class which labors to produce the means whereby happiness is attainable. Machinery, instead of reducing the heavy labor of the working populace is used as a scientific mode of driving human beings from work and bread together; those who claim possession of the implements of production ruthlessly use every available mea... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
This essay is contained in the book Anarchismus, Kommunismus, und Sozialismus (Anarchism, Communism, and Socialism) by Karl Diehl. Essay Six: The Theory of Anarchism Anarchism The Theory of Anarchism Why is it that in times of late Anarchy suits me so well? Each lives in pursuit of his wishes, That is also my goal. I leave to each his endeavors, In order that I might be able to pursue mine. In these verses, Goethe has characterized the essence of the anarchist movement in a strikingly accurate manner. Anarchism intends to create a society in which there is the greatest possible human freedom. To begin with, two sorts of prevalent errors regarding the means and intents of the anarchists must be dispelled. The anarchist movement is often mixe... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
To most Americans of the classes which consider themselves significant the war [World War I] brought a sense of the sanctity of the State which, if they had had time to think about it, would have seemed a sudden and surprising alteration in their habits of thought. In times of peace, we usually ignore the State in favor of partizan political controversies, or personal struggles for office, or the pursuit of party policies. It is the Government rather than the State with which the politically minded are concerned. The State is reduced to a shadowy emblem which comes to consciousness only on occasions of patriotic holiday. Government is obviously composed of common and unsanctified men, and is thus a legitimate object of criticism and even co... (From : bopsecrets.org.)