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Anarchism means man living free and working constructively. It means the destruction of everything that is directed against man's natural, healthy aspirations. Anarchism is not exclusively a theoretical teaching emanating from programs artificially conceived with an eye to the regulation of life: it is a teaching derived from life across all its wholesome manifestations, skipping over all artificial criteria. The social and political visage of anarchism is a free, anti-authoritarian society, one that enshrines freedom, equality and solidarity between all its members. In anarchism, Right means the responsibility of the individual, the sort of responsibility that brings with it an authentic guarantee of freedom and social justice for each and... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)
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 plunging head foremost into the abyss of compromise that will lead them far away f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Address to the Jury in U.S. v. Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, 1917, The U.S. Records of the U.S. Supreme Court, Appellate Case No. 2619 Gentlemen of the Jury: As in the case of my codefendant, Alexander Berkman, this is also the first time in my life I have ever addressed a jury. I once had occasion to speak to three judges. On the day after our arrest it was given out by the U.S. Marshal and the District Attorney's office that the "big fish" of the No Conscription activities had been caught, and that there would be no more trouble-makers and disturbers to interfere with the highly democratic effort of the Government to conscript its young manhood for the European slaughter. What a pity that the faithful servants of the Government, per... (From : WikiSource.)
Freedom: March 1893, p14 Advice to Those About to Emigrate In these days when Home Colonization is seriously discussed, and is even tried, in England as an outlet for the populations of our congested towns, the following letters will be of much interest to our readers. A comrade in New South Wales, writing to Kropotkin for suggestions and advice, says: "As you are probably aware, the Labor movement in Australia has advanced tremendously during the last four or five years. The reason, I believe, lies in the increased agitation in the minds of the people through the late strikes here and also in England and America. The Labor Party here got the worst of it in the last three big strikes, yet the importance of those strikes as factors in educat... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
There are two spirits abroad in the world,—the spirit of Caution, the spirit of Dare, the spirit of Quiescence, the spirit of Unrest; the spirit of Immobility, the spirit of Change; the spirit of Hold-fast-to-that-which-you-have, the spirit of Let-go-and-fly-to-that-which-you-have-not; the spirit of the slow and steady builder, careful of its labors, loathe to part with any of its achievements, wishful to keep, and unable to discriminate between what is worth keeping and what is better cast aside, and the spirit of the inspirational destroyer, fertile in creative fancies, volatile, careless in its luxuriance of effort, inclined to cast away the good together with the bad. Society is a quivering balance, eternally struck afresh, betwee... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
There has recently been a renewal of interest in anarchism. Books, pamphlets, and anthologies are being devoted to it. It is doubtful whether this literary effort is really very effective. It is difficult to trace the outlines of anarchism. Its master thinkers rarely condensed their ideas into systematic works. If, on occasion, they tried to do so, it was only in thin pamphlets designed for propaganda and popularization in which only fragments of their ideas can be observed. Moreover, there are several kinds of anarchism and many variations within the thought of each of the great libertarians. Rejection of authority and stress on the priority of individual judgment make it natural for libertarians to "profess the faith of anti dogmatism." "Let us not become the leaders of a new religion," Proudhon wrote to Marx, "even were it to be the religion of logic and reason." It follows that the views of the libertarians are more varied, more fluid, and harder to apprehend than thos...
ANARCHISM: Its Philosophy and ldeal. Translated from the German by Harry Lyman Koopman. Ever reviled, accursed,-n'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, That sayest all which I for goal have taken. I give thee to the future! -Thine secure When each at last 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 No... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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.)
• "...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."
• "...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..."
Individualist Anarchism is a round square, a contradiction in set terms. As a cube is not a ball, so " Individualism " is not Anarchism. What then, is Individualism? It is the chaos of to-day in social and industrial life, which has sprung from the licentious play of self-will Self-will is the will to be somewhat, and to have hold and sway something in isolation from other such wills, and in opposition to them. Property, dominion, government, law, are embodiments of this self will. Individualism is this striving, grabbing, over-reaching, and self-seeking of atoms, that seek to possess human individuality, but go about their quest the wrong way. It calls itself civilization, progress, fair competition, free trade, and many other fine names. ... (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,...
In 1974, or early 1975, I reviewed in the English anarchist paper Freedom a book by Carlos Semprun Maura, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Catalonia (French edition). In my review I criticized both Semprun Maura and Vernon Richards' book Lessons of the Spanish Revolution for presenting a distorted, over-simplified interpretation of events- a scenario. This provoked a heated rejoinder from Richards (three or four articles in Freedom). Over forty years after the tragic defeat of the Spanish Revolution - 1936 to 1939 - the question of anarchist participation in the Republican government and the role of anarchists in a revolution is a fundamental problem still debated- still relevant. I include my polemic with Richards in these memoirs beca... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)
A CONTRIBUTION TO AN ANARCHIST BIBLIOGRAPHY OF LATIN AMERICA EDITORIAL LA PROTESTA BUENOS AIRES 1926 MAX NETTLAU - A BIOGRAPHY Max Nettlau was born in Neuwaldweg, near Vienna on 30 April 1865 and died on 23 July 1944. His father was descended form old Prussian stock, and had never renounced his nationality, although he lived in Austria. He saw to it that young Max received a very liberal education: after secondary schooling in Vienna, Max read philosophy in a variety of German towns. He secured his doctorate at the age of 23, with a thesis on Celtic languages. Enthused from an early age by the struggles of the Russian revolutionaries, Max joined the socialist movement and his anarchist beliefs took shape: but for them, he might have gone ov... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
It must be left to the future historian to determine whether the Bolshevik repression of the bourgeoisie, with which they started, their rule, was not merely a means towards the ulterior purpose of suppressing all the other non-Bolshevik elements. For the Russian bourgeoisie was not really dangerous to the Revolution. As is well known, it was an insignificant minority, unorganized, without definite solidaric interests and entirely powerless. The revolutionary elements, on the contrary, were a real obstacle to the dictatorship of any political party. The elimination of the revolutionary elements would be of prime necessity to any dictatorship, because such a dictatorship would meet with the strongest opposition NOT from the bourgeoisie but f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
HIRED THUGS APPEARED in front of the strike-bound garment factory buildings as another week began. Ostensibly their job was to protect "non-striking" workers; actually, they were on hand to foment disturbances. Clashes were provoked by these "guards" as they led in people who had never worked in the dress industry before, to replace the striking workers. Girl strikers were arrested and charged with disturbing the peace. Representatives of both sides conferred on Monday with Campbell MacCulloch, executive secretary of the National Recovery Administration's state board. He proposed a three-month compromise plan to end the strike. We could see only danger in that proposal. Early and specific action was vital to us; more waiting would mean a tired and disgusted rank-and-file, and final acceptance, through sheer weariness, of unfavorable terms. The wearing-down process is a well-known tactic on the industrial battlefield. We rejected the plan quickly. To our surpri...
Gaston Leval: Social Reconstruction in Spain (London 1938); quoted in Vernon Richards: Lessons of the Spanish Revolution (London 1983) The mechanism of the formation of the Aragonese collectives has been generally the same. After having overcome the local authorities when they were fascist, or having replaced them by Anti-fascist or Revolutionary committees when they were not, an assembly was summoned of all the inhabitants of the locality to decide on their line of action. One of the first steps was to gather in the crop not only in the fields of the small landowners who still remained, but, what was even more important, also on the estates of the large landowners all of whom were conservatives and rural `caciques' or chiefs. Groups were o... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)
I: The Ideal II: The Men and the Struggles III: Material for a Revolution IV: A Revolutionary Situation CHAPTER 1 THE IDEAL "Now I can die, I have seen my ideal realized." This was said to me in one of the Levante collectives, if my memory servers me well, by one of the men who had struggled throughout their lives for the triumph of social justice, human liberty and brotherhood. His idea was libertarian communism, or anarchy. But the use of this work carried with it the risk in all languages of distorting in people's minds what the great savant and humanist, Elise» Reclus, defined as the "noblest conception of order." More especially because very often, and it was the case in France, the anarchists seems to have done their utmost to agree with their enemies, and to justify to negative and nihilistic interpretation which one already finds in such...
From: Bakunin's Writings, Guy A. Aldred Modern Publishers, Indore Kraus Reprint co. New York 1947 THE COMMUNE, THE CHURCH & THE STATE. I am a passionate seeker for truth and just as strong an opponent of the corrupting lies, through which the party of order-this privileged, official, and interested representative of all religions, philosophical political, legal economical, and social outrage in the past and present-has tried to keep the world in ignorance. I love freedom with all my heart. It is the only condition under which the intelligence, the manliness, and happiness of the people, can develop and expand. By freedom, however, I naturally understand not its mere form, forced down as from above, measured and controlled by the state, ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Many Anarchists and thinkers in general, whilst recognizing the immense advantages which Communism may offer to society, yet consider this form of social organization a danger to the liberty and free development of the individual. This danger is also recognized by many Communists, and, taken as a whole, the question is merged in that other vast problem which our century has laid bare to its fullest extent: the relation of the individual to society. The importance of this question need hardly be insisted upon. The problem became obscured in various ways. When speaking of Communism, most people think of the more or less Christian and monastic and always authoritarian Communism advocated in the first half of this century and practiced in certa... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The greatest excitement has prevailed in Russia for the last few weeks since it became known that representatives of the Zemstvos of thirty-four provinces of the Empire were going to meet at St. Petersburg in order to discuss the necessary reforms in the general political organization of the country. The very fact that such an authorization had been granted was equivalent to an invitation to discuss a scheme of a Constitution; and so it was understood everywhere. When the Zemstvo delegates were leaving their respective provincial towns they were sent off by groups of enthusiastic friends, whose parting words were: 'Return with a Constitution!' Their original intention was to make of their conference a solemn official gathering which would s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Source: The Communist, Vol. XVIII, No.12, December 1939 Publisher: Workers Library Publishers, New York, NY Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive . You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source. HUNGRY for huge war profits, the barons of Wall Street are speeding to involve the American people in the imperialist war raging in Europe. The blackout of civil liberties is part of Wall Street’s war drive. Capitalist reaction is intent upon depriving the Communists of their civil rights as the preparation for an attack on the economic standards and civil rights of the trad... (From : Marxists.org.)
A D E F E N C E OF THE ROCKINGHAM PARTY, IN THEIR LATE C O A L I T I O N WITH THE RIGHT HONORABLE FREDERIC LORD NORTH. LONDON: Printed for J. STOCKDALE, opposite Burlington House, Piccadilly. 1783. [Price One Shilling and Sixpence.] Entered at Stationers Hall. A D E F E N C E OF THE ROCKINGHAM PARTY, &c. &c. &c. THE present reign will certainly appear to our posterity full of the noblest materials for history. Many circumstances seem to have pointed it out as a very critical period. The general diffusion of science has, in some degree, enlightened the minds of all me... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
From the standpoint of one who thinks himself capable of discerning an undeviating route for human progress to pursue, if it is to be progress at all, who, having such a route on his mind's map, has endeavored to point it out to others; to make them see it as he sees it; who in so doing has chosen what appeared to him clear and simple expressions to convey his thoughts to others, -- to such a one it appears matter for regret and confusion of spirit that the phrase "Direct Action" has suddenly acquired in the general mind a circumscribed meaning, not at all implied in the words themselves, and certainly never attached to it by himself or his co-thinkers. However, this is one of the common jests which Progress plays on those who think themsel... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
We must get rid of the Anarchists! They are a menace to society. Does not Hearst say so? Do not the M. & M. and the gentlemen of the Chamber of Commerce, who have also declared war on Labor, assure us that the Anarchists are dangerous and that they are responsible for all our troubles? Does not every skinner of Labor and every grafting politician shout against the Anarchists? Isn't that enough to prove that the Anarchists are dangerous? But why are all the money bags and their hirelings so unanimous in condemning the Anarchists? Generally they disagree on many questions and they bitterly fight each other in their business and social life. But on TWO questions they are always in accord. Smash the Labor Unions! Hang the Anarchists! WHY? B... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Published in 1936. Obtained from the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford, California. Durruti is Dead, Yet LivingEmma Goldman, 1936 Durruti, whom I saw but a month ago, lost his life in the street-battles of Madrid. My previous knowledge of this stormy petrel of the Anarchist and revolutionary movement in Spain was merely from reading about him. On my arrival in Barcelona I learned many fascinating stories of Durruti and his column. They made me eager to go to the Aragon front, where he was the leading spirit of the brave and valiant militias, fighting against fascism. I arrived at Durruti's headquarters towards evening, completely exhausted from the long drive over a rough road. A few moments with Durruti was like a s... (From : WikiSource.)
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...
CHAP. II. HISTORY OF POLITICAL SOCIETY War.--Frequency of war--among the ancients--among the moderns-- the French--the English--Causes of war.--Penal laws.--Despotism. --Deduction from the whole. THE extent of the influence of political systems will be forcibly illustrated by a concise recollection of the records of political society. It is an old observation that the history of mankind is little else than a record of crimes. Society comes recommended to us by its tendency to supply our wants and promote our well being. If we consider the human species, as they were found previously to the existence of political society, it is difficult not to be impressed with emotions of melancholy. But, though the chief purpose of society is to defend us from want and inconvenience, it effects this purpose in a very imperfect degree. We are still liable to casualties, disease, infirmity and death. Famine dest...
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 ma... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)
National questions are not in vogue now in Europe. After having so much exercised the generation of '48, they seem to be now in neglect. The poor results of a movement which caused so many illusions; the new problems that are coming to the front -- the social problem taking the precedence of all; the prominence recently given to the ideas of unification and centralization above those of territorial independence and federalism, by the sudden growth of a powerful military State in middle Europe, -- all these have helped to repel into the background those questions of national independence which seemed to constitute the very essence of the history of Europe during the first half of our century. Faith in national programs, formerly so firm, has... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Rousseau was not a Socialist in any scientific and definite way, simply because he was not a political economist. Yet there was in himself amid to a great extent in his works also, all the emotional material of Socialism. And, inasmuch as the Anarchist faith and formula distinguish themselves from general Socialism, in that they affirm entire equality and freedom in association, not merely saying of the members of society that each is for the whole, but adding with the same emphasis that the whole is for each one, and that he, in and through the whole in which he lives and moves and has his being, is an end to himself and never merely a means to any alien end or good that does not include him and is not his very own: this being Anarchism in... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Founding of the Worker's International by Mikhail Bakunin 1814-1876 From "The Political Philosophy of Bakunin" by G.P. Maximoff 1953, The Free Press, NY Awakening of Labor on the Eve of the International. In 1863 and 1864, the years of the founding of the International, in nearly all of the countries of Europe, and especially those where modern industry had reached its highest development - in England, France, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland - two facts made themselves manifest, facts which facilitated and practically made mandatory the creation of the International. The first was the simultaneous awakening in all the countries of the consciousness, courage, and spirit of the workers, following twelve or even fifteen years of a state of d... (From : Anarchy Archives.)