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ANARCHY. Ever reviled, accursed, ne'er understood, Thou art the grisly terror of our age. "Wreck of all order," cry the multitude, "Art thou, and war and murder's endless rage." O, let them cry. To them that ne'er have striven The truth that lies behind a word to find, To them the word's right meaning was not given. They shall continue blind among the blind. But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure, Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken. I give thee to the future! Thine secure When each at least unto himself shall waken. Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest's thrill? I cannot tell--but it the earth shall see! I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will Not rule, and also ruled I will not be! JOHN HENRY MACKAY. &... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Conclusion of Bruce Glasier's Letter. Regarding the election or appointment of directors or administrators in 9, communal society, I need say little. That such will always be necessary where society and industry, exist, I believe. That it is advisable, even if it were possible, that the persons required to direct social and industrial concerns could always be appointed on the moment, I fail to see. Nor can I understand how it is possible that in every am such appointments would meet with the approval of everybody. The same reasoning that applies to laws and majorities applies to this matter also. I heartily agree with you, however, in thinking that foremen and overseers such as we have today will be almost, if not entirely, unnecessary. The...


FROM A SOCIAL DEMOCRAT. In the July number of "Freedom" you state in reply to Comrade Underwood, a member of the Social Democratic Federation, that if he or any other Social Democrat will state his objections to Anarchist Communism, you will gladly answer them. Underwood not having sent in his objections, I take this opportunity of stating what I conceive to be some of the serious drawbacks to the realization of your ideals. In the first place, if I understand you rightly, Anarchists are against all laws and government. Now what do we Social Democrats mean by law; a common sense regulation, in conformity, with the best interests of the community, every adult having a voice in the making of the law, such law not to become binding until accep... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

The history of human thought recalls the swinging of a pendulum which takes centuries to swing. After a long period of slumber comes a moment of awakening. Then thought frees herself from the chains with which those interested--rulers, lawyers, clerics--have carefully enwound her. She shatters the chains. She subjects to severe criticism all that has been taught her, and lays bare the emptiness of the religious political, legal, and social prejudices amid which she has vegetated. She starts research in new paths, enriches our knowledge with new discoveries, creates new sciences. But the inveterate enemies of thought--the government, the lawgiver, and the priest--soon recover from their defeat. By degrees they gather together their scattered forces, and remodel their faith and their code of laws to adapt them to the new needs. Then, profiting by the servility of thought and of character, which they themselves have so effectually cultivated; profiting, too,...


(Originally published in the Contemporary Review, and then reprinted as a pamphlet by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1884) An Anarchist on Anarchy by Elisée Reclus “It is a pity that such men as Elisée Reclus cannot be promptly shot.” – Providence Press To most Englishmen, the word Anarchy is so evil-sounding that ordinary readers of the Contemporary Review will probably turn from these pages with aversion, wondering how anybody could have the audacity to write them. With the crowd of commonplace chatterers we are already past praying for; no reproach is too bitter for us, no epithet too insulting. Public speakers on social and political subjects find that abuse of Anarchists is an unfailing passport to public favor. Every... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The workingman, whose strength and muscles are so admired by the pale, puny off-springs of the rich, yet whose labor barely brings him enough to keep the wolf of starvation from the door, marries only to have a wife and house-keeper, who must slave from morning till night, who must make every effort to keep down expenses. Her nerves are so tired by the continual effort to make the pitiful wages of her husband support both of them that she grows irritable and no longer is successful in concealing her want of affection for her lord and master, who, alas! soon comes to the conclusion that his hopes and plans have gone astray, and so practically begins to think that marriage is a failure. THE CHAIN GROWS HEAVIER AND HEAVIER As the expenses grow... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Faith is that which invests life with meaning, that which gives strength and direction to life. Every living man discovers this meaning and lives upon it. Having failed to discover it, he dies. In his search, man avails himself of all that humanity has achieved. All that has been achieved by humanity is called revelation. Revelation is that which helps man to comprehend the meaning of life. Such is the relation of man to faith. What a wonderful thing, then! Men appear, who toil unceasingly to make other people enjoy just this and no other form or revelation; who cannot rest until others accept their, just their form of revelation, and who damn, execute, kill, as many as they can of the dissenters. Others do the same: damn, execute, and kill... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


If I were asked to give my opinion, as a geographer, on the pending conflict on the Afghan frontier, I should merely open the volume of Elisée Reclus's Geographie Universelle L'Asie, Russe, and show the pages he has consecrated under this head to the description of the Afghan Turkistan. Summing up the result of his extensive careful and highly impartial studies of Central Asia, Reclus has not hesitated to recognize that, geographically, the upper Oxus and all the northern slope of the Iran and Afghan plateaux belong to the Ural-Caspian region, and that the growing influence of the Slavonian might cannot fail to unite, sooner or later, into one political group, the various parts of this immense basin. And, surely, nobody who has studi... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

My life came to a standstill. I could breathe, eat, drink, and sleep, and I could not help doing these things; but there was no life, for there were no wishes the fulfillment of which I could consider reasonable. If I desired anything, I knew in advance that whether I satisfied my desire or not, nothing would come of it. Had a fairy come and offered to fulfill my desires I should not have know what to ask. If in moments of intoxication I felt something which, though not a wish, was a habit left by former wishes, in sober moments I knew this to be a delusion and that there was really nothing to wish for. I could not even wish to know the truth, for I guessed of what it consisted. The truth was that life is meaningless. I had as it were lived, lived, and walked, walked, till I had come to a precipice and saw clearly that there was nothing ahead of me but destruction. It was impossible to stop, impossible to go back, and impossible to close my eyes or avoid seeing that there was noth...


I am asked for my thoughts about the content and style of anti-war films, and how to make such a film. First of all, such a film must at least not do positive harm by predisposing its audience toward war. The images of senseless violence, horror, and waste that are usually employed in the commercially successful “antiwar” films do have a titillating effect and remain in the soul as excitants and further incitements. Let me show how this works. In cinematic conditions of bright screen and dark theater, lasting for many minutes and tending to fascination and hypnosis, images of horror easily detach themselves from the kind of intellectual and ethical framework in which they are usually presented, and they attach themselves to quite ... (From : http://www.bopsecrets.org/CF/goodman.htm.)

Twelve Proofs of the Inexistence of God
There are two ways of studying and trying to solve the problem of the inexistence of God. One way is that of eliminating the hypothesis God from the field of plausible and necessary conjectures by a clear precise explanation through the exposition of a positive system of the universe, its origin, its successive evolutions and its final scope. But such an exposition would make the idea of God useless and would destroy beforehand the whole metaphysical edifice upon which it has been placed by spiritual philosophers and theologians. However, taking in consideration the present status of human knowledge and duly confining ourselves to that which is demonstrable and has been demonstrated, verifiable and has been verified, we have to admit that t... (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.)

BOOK II PRINCIPALS OF SOCIETY CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION In the preceding book we have cleared the foundations for the remaining branches of inquiry, and shown what are the prospects it is reasonable to entertain as to future political improvement. The effects which are produced by positive institutions have there been delineated, as well as the extent of the powers of man, considered in his social capacity. It is time that we proceed to those disquisitions which are more immediately the object of the present work. Political inquiry may be distributed under two heads: first, what are the regulations which will conduce to the well being of man in society; and, secondly, what is the authority which is competent to prescribe regulations. The regulations to which the conduct of men living in society ought to be conformed may be considered in two ways: first, those moral laws which are enjoined upon us by the dictates of enlightened reason; a...

PREFACE To THE SECOND EDITION. The reception of the following work has been such as to exceed what the author dared to promise himself. Its principles and reasoning have obtained the attention of the public to a considerable extent. This circumstance he has construed as imposing upon him the duty of a severe and assiduous revisal. Every author figures to himself, while writing, a numerous and liberal attention to his lucubrations: if he did not believe that he had something to offer that was worthy of public notice, it is impossible that he should write with any degree of animation. But the most ardent imagination can scarcely be expected to come in competition with sense. In the present instance, there are many things that now appear to the author upon a review, not to have been mediated with a sufficiently profound reflection, and to have been too hastily obtruded upon the reader. These things have been pruned away with a libe...

TRANSLATORS' PREFACE Kropotkin's "Ethics: Origin and Development," is, in a sense, a continuation of his well-known work, "Mutual Aid as a Factor of Evolution." The basic ideas of the two books are closely connected, almost inseparable, in fact: -- the origin and progress of human relations in society. Only, in the "Ethics" Kropotkin approaches his theme through a study of the ideology of these relations. The Russian writer removes ethics from the sphere of the speculative and metaphysical, and brings human conduct and ethical teaching back to its natural environment: the ethical practices of men in their everyday concerns -- from the time of primitive societies to our modern highly organized States. Thus conceived, ethics becomes a subject of universal interest; under the kindly eyes and able pen of the great Russian scholar, a subject of special and academic study becomes closely linked to whatever is significant in the life and thought of all men.

During Easter week a peasant went out to see whether the ground was all thawed out. He went into the garden and touched the soil with a stick. The earth was soft. The peasant went into the woods; here the catkins were already swelling on the willows. The peasant thought: "I will fence my garden with willows; they will grow up and will make a good hedge!" He took his ax, cut down a dozen willows, sharpened them at the end, and stuck them in the ground. All the willows sent up sprouts with leaves, and underground let out just such sprouts for roots; and some of them took hold of the ground and grew, and others did not hold well to the ground with their roots, and died and fell down. In the fall the peasant was glad at the sight of his willows: six of them had taken root. The following spring the sheep killed two willows by gnawing at them, and only two were left. Next spring the sheep nibbled at these also. One of them was completely ruined, a...


The counterfeiters and poisoners of ideas, in their attempt to obscure the line between truth and falsehood, find a valuable ally in the conservatism of language. Conceptions and words that have long ago lost their original meaning continue through centuries to dominate mankind. Especially is this true if these conceptions have become a common-place, if they have been instilled in our beings from our infancy as great and irrefutable verities. The average mind is easily content with inherited and acquired things, or with the dicta of parents and teachers, because it is much easier to imitate than to create. Our age has given birth to two intellectual giants, who have undertaken to transvalue the dead social and moral values of the past, espe... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The pastor of a Congregational church writes to us: "I find in your issue of this mouth you say in your article on Reason-Worship: 'Christian theology and pessimist philosophy are agreed in condemning the nature of man as essentially evil.' As a regular reader of your paper, I was sorry to find such a mistake. This may be some people's impression of the teaching of theology, or it may actually be taught by some ignorant preachers. It is not the doctrine of theology, but on the contrary has been specially condemned, and I believe never revived. Theology teaches that sin is in the will but not in the essential nature of man. These views are distinct. Man is created in the image of God: this is the teaching of the Bible and of theology. The em... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


We have been speaking of the spontaneous action of human energy as a great fact, which it is foolish and dangerous to overlook or ignore. But there are two ways of accepting the existence of a fact. We may rejoice in it and welcome it as a good, or find it distasteful and repel it as an evil. We may use our conscious exercise of will to give it free play, or we may set ourselves to counteract or evade its action. How do we look upon the spontaneous upleaping of energy in man whether it take shape in thought, feeling, or action, The common answer now-a days is, It is good or evil according to the circumstances like the manifestation of energy in fire, which we say is a good servant but a bad master. Au answer characteristic of our epoch of t... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


A Free Man's Worship by Bertrand Russell A brief introduction: "A Free Man's Worship" (first published as "The Free Man's Worship" in Dec. 1903) is perhaps Bertrand Russell's best known and most reprinted essay. Its mood and language have often been explained, even by Russell himself, as reflecting a particular time in his life; "it depend(s)," he wrote in 1929, "upon a metaphysic which is more platonic than that which I now believe in." Yet the essay sounds many characteristic Russellian themes and preoccupations and deserves consideration--and further serious study--as an historical landmark of early-twentieth-century European thought. For a scholarly edition with some documentation, see Volume 12 of The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russe... (From : Drew.edu.)


Speaking of Puritanism in relation to American art, Mr. Gutzon Borglum said: "Puritanism has made us self-centered and hypocritical for so long, that sincerity and reverence for what is natural in our impulses have been fairly bred out of us, with the result that there can be neither truth nor individualility in our art." Mr. Borglum might have added that Puritanism has made life itself impossible. More than art, more than estheticism, life represents beauty in a thousand variations; it is indeed, a gigantic panorama of eternal change. Puritanism, on the other hand, rests on a fixed and immovable conception of life; it is based on the Calvinistic idea that life is a curse, imposed upon man by the wrath of God. In order to redeem himself man... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Ethics: Morality of the State The Theory of Social Contract. Man is not only the most individual being on earth-he is also the most social being. It was a great fallacy on the part of Jean Jacques Rousseau to have assumed that primitive society was established by a free contract entered into by savages. But Rousseau was not the only one to uphold such views. The majority of jurists and modern writers, whether of the Kantian school or of other individualist and liberal schools, who do not accept the theological idea of society being founded upon divine right, nor that of the Hegelian school-of society as the more or less mystic realization of objective morality- nor the primitive animal society of the naturalist school-take nolens volens, fo... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

A Discussion, from a Communist Correspondent
"N'importe qui" says "Common property is advocated only by those who believe the present evil condition of society is due to individual property." But what does he think the present evil conditions of society are due to if not to individual property? To monopoly? Then will he please distinguish between individual property and monopoly I In other words will he point out exactly where individual property ends and monopoly begins I "It is much easier to be inexact than exact." Let us be exact on this point. Now, what is Communism 7 To begin with, I doubt if "N'importe qui's" interpretation of Malato's definition is correct. "That the products shall not be taken from those who produce them,". I take am meaning simply there will be an end of exp... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


No one at all capable of an intense conscious inner life need ever hope to escape mental anguish and suffering. Sorrow and often despair over the so-called eternal fitness of things are the most persistent companions of our life. But they do not come upon us from the outside, through the evil deeds of particularly evil people. They are conditioned in our very being; indeed, they are interwoven through a thousand tender and coarse threads with our existence. It is absolutely necessary that we realize this fact, because people who never get away from the notion that their misfortune is due to the wickedness of their fellows never can outgrow the petty hatred and malice which constantly blames, condemns, and hounds others for something that is... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The Home Secretary, whose private judgment, or the lack of it, is arbiter of life or death for accused Englishmen, has triumphantly vindicated the majesty of the law by causing a Jewish lad to be publicly murdered. The unhappy youth had fled from the horrors of Russian conscription to the worse misery of an exile's life of semi-starvation in London. His brain reeled amid the wretchedness of his lot; he meditated suicide; in reckless despair he is said to have killed a poor woman who balked his desperate search for a few shillings. Victims both of the horrible injustice of society, of the inhuman despotism of the Czar, and the equally inhuman greed of English monopolists of wealth; of the man who sacrifices the lives of others to maintain hi... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

Fate of the Book "What I Believe"—Evasive Character of Religious Criticisms of Principles of my Book—1st Reply: Use of Force not Opposed to Christianity—2d Reply: Use of Force Necessary to Restrain Evil Doers—3d Reply: Duty of Using Force in Defense of One's Neighbor—4th Reply: The Breach of the Command of Nonresistance to be Regarded Simply as a Weakness—5th Reply: Reply Evaded by Making Believe that the Question has long been Decided—To Devise such Subterfuges and to take Refuge Behind the Authority of the Church, of Antiquity, and of Religion is all that Ecclesiastical Critics can do to get out of the Contradiction between Use of Force and Christianity in Theory and in Practice—General Attitude of the Ecclesiastical World and of the Authorities to Profession of True Christianity—General Character of Russian Freethinking Critics—Foreign Freethinking Critics—Mistaken Arguments of these Critics the Result of Misunde...

“All marry in this way. And I did like the rest. If the young people who dream of the honeymoon only knew what a disillusion it is, and always a disillusion! I really do not know why all think it necessary to conceal it. “One day I was walking among the shows in Paris, when, attracted by a sign, I entered an establishment to see a bearded woman and a water-dog. The woman was a man in disguise, and the dog was an ordinary dog, covered with a sealskin, and swimming in a bath. It was not in the least interesting, but the Barnum accompanied me to the exit very courteously, and, in addressing the people who were coming in, made an appeal to my testimony. ‘Ask the gentleman if it is not worth seeing! Come in, come in! It only costs a franc!’ And in my confusion I did not dare to answer that there was nothing curious to be seen, and it was upon my false shame that the Barnum must have counted. “It must be the same with the persons who have pa...


Chapter 1 "When ignorance reigns in society and disorder in the minds of men, laws are multiplied, legislation is expected to do everything, and each fresh law being a fresh miscalculation, men are continually led to demand form it what can proceed only from themselves, from their own education and their own morality." It is no revolutionist who says this, nor even a reformer. It is the jurist, [Joseph] Dallois, author of the Collection of French law known as “Repertoire de la Legislation.” And yet, though these lines were written by a man who was himself a maker and admirer of law, they perfectly represent the abnormal condition of our society. In existing States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themsel... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Source: Bakunin on Anarchy, translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, 1971. Letter From Bakunin to Elisée Reclus February 15, 1875 YOU are right, the revolutionary tide is receding and we are falling back into evolutionary periods --- periods during which barely perceptible revolutions gradually germinate... The time for revolution has passed not only because of the disastrous events of which we have been the victims (and for which we are to some extent responsible), but because, to my intense despair, I have found and find more and more each day, that there is absolutely no revolutionary thought, hope, or passion left among the masses; and when these qualities are missing, even the most heroic efforts must fail and nothing can be accomp... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The Subjection of India-Its Cause and Cure
Introduction by M. K. GANDHI The letter printed below is a translation of Tolstoy's letter written in Russian in reply to one from the Editor of Free Hindustan. After having passed from hand to hand, this letter at last came into my possession through a friend who asked me, as one much interested in Tolstoy's writings, whether I thought it worth publishing. I at once replied in the affirmative, and told him I should translate it myself into Gujarati and induce others' to translate and publish it in various Indian vernaculars. The letter as received by me was a type-written copy. It was therefore referred to the author, who confirmed it as his and kindly granted me permission to print it. To me, as a humble follower of that great teacher who... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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